The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber Cause By A Cruel Woman Essay

Submitted By loopemily13
Words: 882
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Emily Lupo
AP English Literature- Mrs. Wooding
September 6, 2014
Boot Camp Critical Analysis #1
“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” Ended by a Cruel Woman In the short story, “The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber” by Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway creates suspense by starting the short story in the present and then presenting a flashback that causes great unrest and conflict between the characters. The main conflict between Francis Macomber and his wife foreshadows the ending of the story and provides suspense as to the lengths Macomber will strive to prove to his wife he is not a coward. However, further conflict is caused by Macomber’s wife’s blatant unfaithfulness to him with their guide, Robert Wilson. The affair allows Hemingway to further justify his addressing of the cruelty of women. Francis Macomber is viewed as a coward from the start, and spends the rest of the story attempting to prove to his wife he is not. At first Macomber is viewed as a hero. He has returned from a hunting trip, but his wife is not content with him. She views him as a coward and mocks him by saying, “‘It’s [my face] that’s red today.’” (Hemingway 79). She is implying that her face is red from embarrassment for her husband’s actions. This also allows for there to be more meaning to the conflict between the characters, and the reader is left wondering what caused the characters to be upset. When the reader learns that the conflict is caused by Macomber’s inability to kill a lion and his impulse to run from it, it is difficult to feel for the wife. Macomber is seen as an average human, whereas his wife wants him to be brave and courageous. After Macomber proves he is a coward and Wilson proves he is brave, Macomber’s wife does all she can to punish Macomber. She is not discreet in her actions. It appears as though she enjoys being cruel to her husband. After the safari to hunt the lion, Wilson, Macomber, and his wife are in their vehicle when she “had reached forward and put her hands on Wilson’s shoulder. He turned and she had leaned forward over the low seat and kissed him on the mouth” (Hemingway 92). This creates discord between the three of them and shows his wife’s anger and distaste for her husband. She does not show that she cares about her husband or his feelings. Wilson also does not have a personal attachment to Macomber; he is an employee. This foreshadows the ending as well. This suggests that Macomber’s wife and Wilson have a more personal connection than Macomber and Wilson. Therefore he feels a sense of detachment from Macomber. Macomber’s wife shows herself as manipulative and a more powerful character than her husband. Hemingway discusses the cruelty of women in a few instances throughout the short story providing meaning and foreshadowing to the conclusion of the short story. Hemingway is addressing Wilson’s ability to kill anything and leaves the reader to assume he is referring to lions. “They are, he thought, the hardest in the world; the hardest, the cruelest, the most predatory and the most attractive and their men have softened or gone to pieces nervously as they have hardened. Or is it that they pick men they can handle? They can’t know that